Leah Cuevas, 42, was denied bail at a hearing Thursday morning in Brooklyn. The victim, Chinelle Latoya Thompson Browne, disappeared July 5 after a fight with Cuevas.
Browne's legs and torso were found July 8 in Bay Shore. Her arms and head turned up at three locations in Hempstead over the next week.
Browne was stabbed and beaten, police said.
A neighbor said that Cuevas began "claiming to be a landlord" after her uncle, who owned the building where she and Browne lived, died last year. He and other neighbors said that Cuevas demanded $200 from Browne for electricity and she resisted, saying she needed the money to move out.
Donald Watson, who also lives in the building, called Cuevas "an evil lady" who got into frequent arguments with tenants.
"She would come out screaming, 'This is my building!'" he said. "You'd hear them arguing. You'd see the police out here. They'd tell them to go to small claims court. It's been going on for a long time."
Browne's husband, Dale, flew from Guyana with her aunt after the body was found. He said his wife moved to New York a year ago, and he had planned to join her with their children.